Retired Canadian psychotherapist Catherine Gildiner subtitles her good work of non-fiction Five Heroic Journeys to Recovery and recounts the inspirational stories of five former patients whom she considers heroes for their lives of struggle, their hard work in therapy and their willingness to share. All have given permission to use their experiences, but, even so, their stories are told in such a way as to retain their anonymity – Laura, Peter, Danny, Alana and Madeline. Psychotherapy itself is long process, comes with pitfalls and is not for sissies, but these five are here to speak.
When she was a child, Madeline’s mother greeted her each morning with “Good morning, monster.” And not as a term of endearment, you see. Madeline thought that’s what she was. Danny and his family were victims of Canadian government policy regarding indigenous people. Alana and her younger sister were reared by their brilliant father who wrangled custody away from their mother. Custody of two tiny girls was given to a monster. These stories are told in narrative fashion taken from clinical notes, but they are not clinical. Rather, they are deeply engrossing and heartbreakingly human. And, for me, they were terrifying. Horrifying abuses; none reported. Monsters and victims, and we have no idea. Look around. Look around. Say Good Morning.
As this Halloween week begins, Good Morning, Monster reminds us that the horrors are all too real. No word on an official US release date, but the Canadian printing is available for purchase on-line at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Full Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided to me by Penguin Random House Canada / Viking via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the publisher, the author and NetGalley for providing me this opportunity. All opinions expressed herein are my own.